"Longhorn" has always been a code name for the next release of Windows, just as Whidbey and Yukon were code names for the upcoming releases of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005.
Today Microsoft announced that client version of "Longhorn" will officially be called Microsoft Windows Vistatm.
Clear. Confident. Connected.
Bringing clarity to your world
That is the marketing lines Microsoft used in the announcement of Windows Vista. With the beta coming out on August 3rd (of this year), we will see if these words do clearly define what Vista is! Microsoft noted that this beta is aimed at developers and IT Professionals, so don't expect it to be ready for full "prime-time" use yet!
As a side note, it is interesting to look at some definitions for Vista. In looking at Dictionary.com's definitions, you can find:
A distant view or prospect, especially one seen through an opening, as between rows of buildings or trees.
Windows Vista has been viewed across a distance of several years through the narrow opening that Microsoft has provided as far as information. With the release of the name, however, maybe this distance of time will now start to shrink.
Microsoft is still stating that the launch of Windows Vista will be in 2006.
# # #